Waterbury’s new police chief is home-grown. Veteran officer and lifelong resident Vernon Riddick Jr. is the new top cop. Riddick was sworn in at a promotional ceremony at The Palace Theater Friday night.
He is the “Brass City’s” first African American police chief. He was overcome with emotion as he told the audience of his morning visit to the grave of Waterbury’s first African American police officer, Cicero Booker.
“On his headstone are inscribed the words: ‘I was able to open the door for black people to become police officers in the city. Now it is up to you and other young black police officers to open those doors now closed to you,’ ” Riddick said.
Chief Riddick says he’ll expand the use of technology, like fixed cameras and body cameras. He says the department will also become more data-driven and use crime statistics to predict where and when crimes are going to occur.